G-Unit head 50 Cent recently gave his take on today’s rap game and how things have changed from within the culture since he came up as a rookie hip-hop artist.
In Fif’s perspective, a swift change in the content artists rap about in their music is one of the most noticeable differences these days.
“I think you miss the things when they’re gone. When you look around and see it’s turned into this little hipster thing, the culture’s not even what it was, initially,” Fif explained in an interview. “You start to look for something that’s representation of what it was in the past, that you actually loved about it or you what you actually enjoyed. It turned into a fashion show for a little while.” (HYPETRAK)
He also pointed out how the level of competition has changed since the slaying of rap moguls Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur in the mid-90’s.
“Artists are writing about fashion and that part’s like, it’s crazy, that part was never a core of the actual art,” Fif added. “It was so many different [things]. You had to offer different walks, different perspectives. Your album was supposed to be better than the other guy’s album. The competitive portion. That’s why so often you got involved in battling, they called it beefing. They changed the terminology to beefing after Biggie and Tupac, but these guys aren’t Biggie and Tupac.” (HYPETRAK)
Last month, New York rapper Fabolous said older hip-hop artists had to adapt to today’s changing climate.
“It’s a different generation and even though it’s on an upswing, it’s on the upswing of this generation. I don’t think it’s ever going to be the 90s/2000 New York, and people might have to rationalize with that and accept it,” Fab said in an interview. “It’s only going to be the New York of now. It’s still a staple for music, it’s just that the music coming out of here hasn’t been the strongest because New York music is not dictating a sound anymore. I don’t mean to say that our music is wack, it’s just not the number one sound right now. Right now, ‘Ratchet’ music is mainstream. New York’s music used to be street, gangsta music. That was our ratchet music.” (XXL Mag)
Nearly a year ago, Young Money superstar Drake talked about how the rap game is mostly about looking fly and being young.
Staring into the fire, he tells me he’s part of a new generation of rappers, one that is less defined by aggression and street credibility. “Rap now is just being young and fly and having your sh*t together,” he says. “The mood of rap has changed.” So has the way you get huge as a rapper. Drake launched his career via a blog and Myspace; now he’s one of the biggest artists in the world. He’s keenly aware of the power–and the panoptic demands–of the social networks that made him. “Some of my favorite rappers, some of my heroes”–DJ Screw, Aaliyah–“there might be like 200 pictures of them because there was no Internet,” he says. “Whereas with us, it’s like every moment is documented.” (GQ)
Check out 50 Cent’s interview: